Air ride bicycle suspension

So i've been interested in pneumatis for quite some time and recently I came across a small air cylinder (6 inch travel), 12 volt air compressor, 12 volt valve, and misc fittings. I got really excited and without thinking twice I grabbed tools and started hacking up my old beach cruiser (it was quite a mess anyway after 3 trips to burningman). So this is the outcome... I can control the up/down with a momentary on switch out back. Now just looking at this mess its easy to see that well i obviously can't weld. Never tried... Anyway it rides really sloppy as you can imagine, much like an old Lincoln with the shocks blown out, but it is so much fun! Now i pose the question to you community members, how would you have done this different? Looking forward to your responses!

Picture of Air ride bicycle suspension
C:\Documents and Settings\DGray\Desktop\200709161102_188.jpg
sort by: active | newest | oldest
Andrew54610 years ago
I wonder what it would be like with the hinge at the bottom bracket, rather than so closer to the headset? Of course, now I'm thinking it would be sweet to get a rear suspension mountain bike, replace the coil-over with an air cylinder, and then do the same thing you've done to the top tube. Imagine the possibilities... :-D
prototype27 (author)  Andrew54610 years ago
honestly that was my intention, i even sketched out a sweet custom frame. unfortunately i am not a welder and my craigslist post for a welder/fabricator turned up nada...
Goodhart10 years ago
For some reason this looks like it could buck you forward if you hit a hard enough bump or gully.
uguy10 years ago
a hydraulic system with an air accumulator is probably the answer to the "Lincoln" problem
prototype27 (author)  uguy10 years ago
i kinda like the ride, i had this old dodge in high school with blown shocks, and man does it bring me back...
NachoMahma10 years ago
. I think a hydraulic cylinder would work better (and would probably help with the "old Lincoln" feel), but for a parts-I-have-on-hand project, I give at least a B+. With better pictures, it might get an A, but if your welding is as bad as you say (can't really tell from the pics), I doubt it will get an A+. ;)
. Can you adjust it while moving? If so, that would give it an extremely high cool factor. If not, just a very high cool factor.
prototype27 (author)  NachoMahma10 years ago
its not welded at all =)
i just used 3/8 bolts from the local hardware store for the hinge and to attach the head tube... i did a 15 mile ride yesterday airing and deflating mid ride and no noticable stress to the frame. so far so good...
. [ This] keeps playing in my head.
Honus10 years ago
There have been several guys that have used hydraulics/pneumatics in bicycles. Ususally they end up modifying a springer style fork to get the same effect you have but without the stability issues. Check out
prototype27 (author)  Honus10 years ago
yeah i could have gone that route also but a) i didnt want to do what everyone else did b) i think its just ugly having the tube stick out the front of the bike. Appreciate the input!